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Q: Left front strut makes clanking sound when driving over bumps

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I had told the dealership that I could leave my car for only one day, but they kept it for a week and refused to let me take it. They said they wanted to paint it when I told them not to. I asked, but they avoided telling me where they were painting it. When I did finally get it back, 56 miles had been driven on it. All my radio stations had been changed and it had a very low MPG. So they had been driving around in ‘my’ car!!

It has a loose lining panel in the area where the left rear strut is and the strut clanks when I drive over bumps. When I returned my car, the dealer ‘did’ hear the clunk noise and said it was the brake. When I went back to pick up my car, they said they had ordered the wrong brake and laughed! I called them two weeks later and they said it would be in the next day and laughed again. They did install the brake, but the clunking noise is still there. I proceeded to go to two other dealerships for 2nd/3rd opinions but neither of them could hear the noise. So I put an action cam in my car and made a video from inside the suspension. After “eight” service calls, finally they replaced the strut and fixed the clunk. But I have additional problems like the sagging to the driver’s side, a super high frame in front and several others. My question is: am I not communicating with these mechanics and can you make suggestions so I will be treated better when I go to have more problems fixed?

A: Without knowing a bit more backstory, I can...

Without knowing a bit more backstory, I can only make assumptions. It is unusual for a dealership to want to paint a car unless there is a paint recall or the vehicle was damaged in some way. If the vehicle was damaged it could explain what is going on, but that is only speculation. Communication is key in this sort of event. The best thing I can suggest for this type of problem is to contact Mazda North America and talk to them. They are able to find out any work that was done at the dealer and why. If you need to get an independent mechanic's opinion on this, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come out to your home or office to give your car a comprehensive inspection of your steering, suspension, and brakes in order to have the proper repairs done.

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